Consumers in the Dayton area have had only one choice for fine dining for seafood fans. Jay’s Seafood has had a stranglehold on the Dayton fine dining seafood market for years. Bonefish Grille and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant (located at The Greene) have brought new life to the local market. Jay’s and McCormick & Schmick’s offers standard seafood fare, while Bonefish Grill offers a specialization in grilled seafood offered in a variety of sauce choices. All three are excellent choices for dinner but only Bonefish Grill offers a hook and a pleasant, elegant dining experience that will entice guests to make many return visits.
Bonefish Grill is located off the intersection of State Routes 725 and 741. It is nestled into the new walking mall area of the Dayton Mall. “BG,” as referred to by employees, sits on the corner across from the Rusty Bucket. It is easily accessible from Interstate Routes 75 and 675. Parking for Bonefish Grill is bountiful in the surrounding lots.
Walking up to Bonefish Grill, customers will not be taken aback by the tinted, large plate glass windows and revolving door. The outside is a tan brick and stucco finish. The windows are framed with a standard black aluminum frame. The outside is not the most attractive of store fronts in the walking mall area. Once inside, a different story emerges from inside of the banal façade.
Customers will first notice the detail of the pewter door handles shaped like a fish while using the revolving door. The revolving door allows customers to never be disturbed by the urban sounds which lurk outside. Once inside the consumers are welcomed by an elegant atmosphere and gregarious wait staff. Stepping out of the revolving door, guests immediately enter the bar area. The back walls of the restaurant are a metal sculpture scene of bonefish jumping in tropic wonderment. The bar is separated from the dining area by a windowed wall.
The bar area is very becoming in contrast to the insipid frontage. The bar is long and expanses the entire wall to the left. One’s eyes are drawn to two large HD-LCD televisions behind the bar, framed by cherry shelves loaded with an array of wines and spirits. The lights hang like inverted champagne flutes emitting an amber aura over the bar top. This lounge area offers seating for guests in three areas; the actual bar seats, a central dining “ledge” for large parties, and at four booths. The bar area provides a pub-like feel in a stylized finish.
The atmosphere inside of Bonefish Grill dining room is elegant and leads to a satisfied customer. The darkness created by the black ceilings contrasted by spot lighting gives consumers a sense of privacy inside the crowded dining room. The eclectic collection of oceanic art on the walls provides a serene feeling that allows an escape from the hustle and bustle of suburbia that is usually evident in a mall restaurant. The music playing is a soothing, contemporary jazz mixed with modern R & B ballads. Crossing the threshold of the Bonefish Grill will take the edge off a hard day’s work and result in a pleasant dining experience.
The menu at Bonefish is standard seafood fare, except for the house specialties of grilled fish. The menu is divided into the normal sections of appetizers, salads, entrees, and sauté. In the middle of the menu consumers see a large selection of mouth-watering grilled seafood choices. The choices range from “Icelandic Arctic Char” to “Cold Water Lobster Tails.” All of these choices are cooked to perfection on a wood-burning grill. The flaky fillets are offered in four sauce choices: “Virgin Mediterranean,” “Warm Mango Salsa,” “Pan Asian,” and “Lemon Butter.” These choices give an option to the customer not available at other localities. This difference inevitably encourages return visits to sample the other sauces available to the guest.
Dinner service at Bonefish Grill is standard by current dining standards, but the guest is never hurried. Guests are greeted by a host explaining the choices for dining services and informing the guests a wait time for a table. After a short wait customers will receive a buzz on their pager when their table is available. Another host takes them to their table and gives them a menu and a special board. The server comes to the table with a warm welcome and explains the daily specials, while taking a drink and appetizer order. Guests have ample time to look over the dinner choices and make their decisions. The server returns with beverages in hand and explains the specials in detail and the options of the grilled items. The server returns shortly with the appetizers. Salads or soups are delivered by another employee. Next, the entrees come in a nice steady dinner pace by the staff. Following dinner, the server suggests desserts and then brings the guest a check. Although it’s a standard dinner service, customers will feel like they are alone with their server due to the pleasant and private atmosphere.
The Bonefish Grill has added a long awaited dimension to seafood restaurants for the Dayton area. The “down-home” cooking of Shuckin Shack is affordable. The hometown appeal of Jay’s is comforting. Bonefish Grill is modern, elegant, and well presented. Bonefish Grill is a complete package with a great menu which will keep seafood fans happy around the Miami Valley for a long, long time.